Reviews are in for Assassin's Creed Origins, the latest main installment in Ubisoft's popular video game franchise, following the 2015 release of Assassin's Creed Syndicate. Usually, games in the series release on an annual basis, but Ubisoft opted to spend 2016 working on Origins in response to fan complaints and disappointing sales for Syndicate.
Set in ancient Egypt, Assassin's Creed Origins explores the early days of the Brotherhood of the Assassins and the Templars. Players take control of an Assassin named Bayek as he traverses through a rich, open-world environment on foot, horseback, and camelback, all while accompanied by an eagle which the player can use to scout ahead. Origins will also bring back fan-favorite gameplay features of past titles, such as tomb raiding, naval combat, and underwater exploration.
The response to Assassin's Creed Origins has been mostly favorable, with many reviewers praising its vast open-world setting, stunning visual effects, and improved combat mechanics, while also pointing that the game isn't too much different from what fans have become accustomed to. Many of the flaws from earlier installments have carried over into Origins, but overall there seems to be a consensus that Origins is an improvement over recent titles. Read on for excerpts from the first wave of Origins critiques (along with links to the full reviews).
Kotaku – Kirk Hamilton
For all its extraordinary visual splendor, Assassin’s Creed Origins is ultimately an ordinary video game. That’s not such a bad thing, particularly if you like looking at pretty vistas and watching numbers go up.
Polygon – Colin Campbell
So it is with Assassin’s Creed Origins, a vibrating world of color and life tied to a serviceable story and an altogether familiar set of gameplay chores. This is a good game, but it is an acute triangle, unequal in its proportions.
Gamespot - Alessandro Fillari
While Assassin's Creed Origins reaches great heights in this new setting, it routinely runs into issues that bog down the overall experience. Technical issues make for an inconsistent experience and its new gameplay pillars wobble under the weight of its systems. But despite this, the world of Origins remains fresh and exciting to explore, which is a testament to the remarkable setting and compelling story. Assassin's Creed has undergone many changes in its long and storied history, and Origins feels like the first step in the start of a new journey. It has its fair share of problems, but the vision for its future is one worth pursuing.
PC Gamer – Christopher Livingston
I'm having good fun. I'm also occasionally shaking my head in exasperation. But at this point it's a sort of fond exasperation, like the mom in a paper towel commercial when little Timmy has spilled grape juice all over the kitchen floor. She should be annoyed, probably, because he does this pretty much every year and he should really know better by now, but it's Timmy! It's hard to stay mad at that little scamp.
GamesRadar – Louise Blain
While Creed maps have seemed overwhelming before, they’ve got nothing on Egypt. Hit the map and you’ll have to zoom out for four seconds longer than usual and that’s before panning across endless different regions, each with their own distinct feel. This isn’t just a world of deserts, pyramids and palm trees. The impressive story campaign guides you through beautiful lush farmland, craggy mountains and Greek cities before leaving you to unwrap the rest of the world like a giant living hidden-blade wearing Christmas present. Origins has no qualms about delivering you to entire cities complete with Coliseums 80% of the way through your campaign, knowing full well you’ll be back for more once it’s all over.
GameInformer – Suriel Vazquez
Origins doesn’t completely rebuild Assassin’s Creed, but makes a number of smart, significant changes to a formula that, despite yearly updates, was showing its age. The increased freedom in how you approach targets, the more active combat, and alluring world not only make exploring Egypt a rewarding experience, but also offer a strong direction for the series going forward while still remembering what made it unique in the first place.
IGN -Alanah Pearce
Assassin’s Creed Origins is a deep-dive into a truly stunning realization of ancient Egypt, with a rich series of cultures, genuine characters, and more mission variety than any other game in the series. The combat is challenging and thoughtful, and while the loot system doesn’t match up to games like Destiny 2, there are enough different weapon types and enough enemy variety to keep you swapping between weapons, catered to the situation. The RPG elements encourage challenges of their own, and even despite a handful of bugs, I desperately wanted to keep playing.
Based on these reviews, Origins could become the success Ubisoft was hoping for when they decided not to release an Assassin's Creed game in 2016, and that their plan to focus on quality paid off. From what people are saying about Origins, it appears that fans of the franchise will be pleased with this new experience that promises more exploration and freedom than ever in a visually dynamic world. According to reviewers, Origins also offers needed improvements for the upgrading system, climbing mechanics, and stealth.
Assassin's Creed Origins releases worldwide on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC tomorrow. It becomes available on the Xbox One X on November 7.
Source: Various [see the above links]